Study Abroad – Other Destinations
With so much to see and do in this big world, it can be difficult to decide on one overseas destination. Maybe the thought of spending a semester abroad or a year abroad in one location sounds restrictive. For a student set on studying abroad but unable to decide on a study abroad program because the thought of staying in one city sounds unappealing, there are a number of programs to choose from to resolve this dilemma. Programs exist that are geared toward those seeking a study abroad internship as well as a standard academic study abroad program. Scholarships are sometimes available for these programs as well.
Probably the most well-known program that allows students to travel overseas, literally, is the Semester at Sea program. The semester long voyages last for over one hundred days and allow for travel to more than ten countries. Shorter term options are also available that last for a couple of weeks up to a couple of months. Students receive credit from the University of Virginia which is generally transferable to your home school but check with the appropriate department before making any decisions. The benefits of this program are apparent – a greater opportunity to see more of the world. The drawbacks are also apparent – a lack of an ability to really gain an appreciation for a particular culture. If diversity is important to you and you are not prone to sea sickness, SAS might be a good choice. Just remember to bring your bathing suit and a lot of suntan lotion.
There are a number of other programs that allow students to spend time in more than one overseas location. Most of the multi-country programs have a theme – this can be anything from science and math to sports to architecture to archeology to globalization. If you have an interest there is probably a program out there that will suit your needs. Two of the more popular organizations with offerings are the International Honors Program and Knowledge Exchange Institute. Again these programs offer a more diverse experience but do not allow for as much knowledge of a particular culture. But they usually provide an opportunity for study abroad internships in addition to academic study abroad programs. Students will probably find these programs a bit more intense than the SAS program so if you are looking for diversity and relaxation, SAS might be a better option.
Multi-country study abroad is well-suited for a student looking for a diverse experience and more pictures to show your friends when you get home. You will be able to see more sights, taste more foods, and meet different types of people. If you are a mover and a doer that doesn’t like to sit still and likes to always be exploring, you should probably stick with one of these options over the more traditional study abroad programs. Since some of the multi-country study abroad programs are less popular than the more traditional study abroad options, just make sure to check with your school about transfer credit before settling on a program.